Saga Cruise’s Spirit of Discovery (IMO 9802683) returned to the UK after 100 passengers suffered injuries, most of them minor, during a storm off western France.
The vessel was reported to have faced gale force winds and nine-metre high waves in the Bay of Biscay on Saturday November 4th. The ship’s propulsion safety system activated as a result of the storm, causing the ship to veer sharply to one side as it came to a halt. Five passengers needed medical treatment, according to Saga.
Passengers then had to wait about 18 hours for the storm to pass after the ship’s Master decided it would be safest to hold the position. The ship returned to the UK, docking in Portsmouth during the night of Monday November 6th. Passengers disembarked on Tuesday morning.
The Spirit of Discovery had meant to be undertaking a 14-night cruise in the Canaries. But weather conditions deteriorated rapidly and a decision was made to cancel a call at Las Palmas. The ship continued onwards to La Coruña, north-east Spain, with the aim of getting ahead of the approaching storm.
However, because of the bad weather, La Coruña had been closed before the ship could arrive. Therefore it was decided that the vessel should return to the UK. En route the ship encountered stormy weather in the Bay of Biscay. Saga said that the ship remained safe at all times. “While the weather is clearly beyond our control, we want to offer our sincere apologies to all those affected who are now safely on their way home in calmer seas,” a Saga spokesperson said.
2019-built, UK-flagged, 58,119 gt Spirit Of Discovery is owned by Saga Cruises V Ltd care of manager V Ships Leisure SAM of Monaco Ville, Monaco. It is entered with UK Club on behalf of Saga Cruises Ltd. As of November 7th the vessel remained moored at Portsmouth, UK.